G20 1) May demands Putin cease “irresponsible and destabilising activity”

“Theresa May and her likely successor Boris Johnson attacked Vladimir Putin over his claim in a FT interview that liberalism had become “obsolete”, rebuffing his suggestion of a rapprochement in UK-Russia relations. In the interview the Russian president raised the prospect of a restoration of ties, which have been frozen since the attempted murder last year of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal. But Mrs May spoke out against Russia’s “irresponsible” and “despicable” behaviour when they met on the sidelines of the G20 summit, avoiding eye contact with Mr Putin when they shook hands. A Downing Street spokesperson said Mrs May told the president “there cannot be a normalisation of our bilateral relationship until Russia stops the irresponsible and destabilising activity that threatens the UK and its allies”.  Mr Putin’s assertion that liberalism was a spent force was criticised by Mr Johnson — the favourite to succeed Mrs May as leader of the Conservative party when she steps down at the end of July.” – Financial Times

  • She’s “looking forward to being a backbench MP” – BBC
  • ‘Third man’ commanded team behind Salisbury poisoning – Daily Telegraph
  • Liberalism Lives – Leader, The Times
  • Too many in the West insist on dancing to Vladimir Putin’s tune  – Douglas Murray, Daily Telegraph
  • Putin’s attacks remind us that the cause of freedom is well worth fighting for – Leader, Daily Telegraph

G20 2) PM pledges to only spend £14 billion foreign aid budget on environmentally friendly schemes

“Theresa May is to commit Britain to spending the £14 billion foreign aid budget only on environmentally friendly schemes. Downing Street said that the promise would mean that “every penny” of UK support for developing countries will be in line with “climate change goals”. The commitment to “greener aid” suggests that new projects could be rejected for funding if they could contribute to carbon emissions. “When building roads or developing energy infrastructure, we will consider the greenest way to do this and use the best materials and design to manage the impacts of climate change that people are already feeling,” Downing Street said.” – Daily Telegraph

Gauke defeats “no confidence” by his constituency association

“Justice Secretary David Gauke has survived a no-confidence vote by his constituency Conservative Association. Mr Gauke represents South West Hertfordshire and opposes a no-deal Brexit. Political campaign group Leave.EU tweeted it wanted to “claim our first cabinet scalp”. The no-confidence motion was defeated 123 to 61. Mr Gauke tweeted he was “grateful to the members of my association for their support”. The closed meeting was held at Kings Langley Community Centre and lasted for more than two and a half hours.” – BBC

>Today: Joanne Bartley on Comment: Has our Party gone mad? No Deal Brexiteers are acting like pro-Corbyn extremists.

Leadership 1) Johnson denies offering Javid the post of Chancellor

“Boris Johnson has denied he is already “measuring the curtains” for Number Ten by offering Cabinet jobs to MPs in return for their support.  The Tory leadership frontrunner yesterday scotched claims that he had offered Sajid Javid the role of Chancellor, suggesting instead that rumours about job offers were likely the work of MPs attempting to improve their chances. Addressing Tory members at the fourth of 16 hustings events, Mr Johnson said that whilst there was a “wealth of talent on the Conservative benches”, he would not make offers until he had secured the keys to Downing Street. “There is a wealth of talent on the Conservative benches but anything I say now about the future shape or personnel of the administration I lead would be counted as measuring the curtains,” he added.” – Daily Telegraph

  • His economic vision shows he is ready to champion Brexit Britain – Jo-Anne Nadler, Daily Telegraph
  • Sir Alan Duncan: He’s a circus act – Daily Telegraph
  • Opposition to Johnson from the Glastonbury Festival – The Guardian


Leadership 2) Hunt is the most popular choice among the general public

“Jeremy Hunt is favourite among the public to become the next PM – but Tory voters prefer Boris Johnson, a new poll found today. The Foreign Secretary leads his rival by 41 per cent to 29 among all voters, according to YouGov. Allies today claimed he has the “momentum” to overtake the runaway favourite Boris in coming weeks. But Boris is still ahead among Conservative supporters – and among voters who back Brexit. The ongoing leadership election will be decided by 160,000 Tory activists who will send in postal votes next month…..But Mr Hunt’s lead is due largely to support from Labour and Lib Dem voters, as well as Brits who supported Remain in the 2016 referendum.” – The Sun

  • Johnson defends refusal to take part in “gladiatorial” TV debates – The Guardian
  • Hunt is more thoughtful – The Guardian
  • Johnson must convince voters he is serious – Leader, The Sun


Leadership 3) Both candidates back new law to protect soldiers

“Changes to the Human Rights Act are needed to protect veterans from historical allegations, a report backed by Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt claims. Legislation requiring the attorney-general’s consent to bring prosecutions against military personnel and a robust statute of limitations have also been proposed. The recommendations are made in a report published today to coincide with Armed Forces Day by Policy Exchange, a centre-right think tank. The two candidates for the Conservative Party leadership have thrown their support behind the report’s demand for the new prime minister “to act urgently to protect UK troops, whether serving or retired, from ongoing exposure to legal risk and to unfair legal processes”. The report, Protecting Those Who Serve, calls for the Human Rights Act to be amended to specify that it does not apply to any death that took place before the act came into force in October 2000.” – The Times

  • Strict laws govern the battlefield. We must restore their primacy to protect our soldiers – Gavin Williamson, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: MPsETC: Conservative leadership election. Candidates’ polices – full list

Leadership 4) Parris: The Conservative resolve to oppose Brexit is weakening

“Tories anxious about no-deal are coming under terrible and unrelenting pressure from their constituency associations. The grassroots are lurching heavily towards Brexit-at-all-costs, reinforced by former Ukip supporters joining up as Conservative activists. Many are making their MPs’ lives a misery. The threat of deselection is always there. Johnson’s (presumed) new party chairman could collaborate in a purge. How much longer can Remainer diehards hold out? Easy for me to preach “conscience” but put yourself in their shoes. You’re (say) a 53-year-old male Tory backbencher on a modest income with a family of school age to support. Westminster and the constituency have become your life and it’s unclear what you could do if you lost your job. Your local association is giving you hell. Imagine them learning that you’re threatening to topple your own Conservative government, or bring on a second referendum? You’ll be out, straight out.” – Matthew Parris, The Times

  • Tories must focus on the original Brexit mission and avoid the knee-jerk response to go for no-deal – Tobias Ellwood, Daily Telegraph


Leadership 5) Wallace: The new PM must fight petty rules

“If people want to be ordered around, and forced to live hemmed in by quotas and festooned with licences, then they can already secure that fate in spades by voting for the Marxists on the opposite side. No Tory leader can or should try to compete with Corbynites on their own specialism. Instead, Johnson must seek to lift up the nation on every front – not just by fulfilling Brexit, not just by allowing us to keep more of our own money, but by liberating us to live as we wish. His message should be that we can take back control of our lives, as well as our laws. In doing so, he would be riffing on his natural instincts and engaging in a struggle which is set to define politics for years to come: is our technological age set to be one of new liberation, or one of new controls and restrictions on liberty?” – Mark Wallace, Daily Telegraph

Leadership 6) Hammond: We still need a pragmatic approach to Brexit

“For all the noise of the leadership election, the fundamentals have not changed – and the new prime minister will face the same facts as the current one does…So the challenge for the next prime minister is the same challenge that confronted the current Prime Minister. New face. New style, perhaps. But same facts. Bluster will not solve this problem. Nor threats – whether directed at Parliament or at the EU. Only more painstaking hard work can do that: building a coalition in Parliament around a compromise; convincing the EU of our plan; reuniting our country behind a solution that will give us back control – but won’t wreck our economy in the process…Compromise and pragmatism are not dirty words; in fact, they are the core strengths on which Britain’s modern success is built. If our new prime minister embraces them, he can deliver Brexit, and a brighter future. I wish him success.” Philip Hammond, Daily Mail

Williamson suspended again

“An MP suspended by Labour for remarks about the party’s handling of anti-Semitism has again lost the whip – two days after being readmitted. Chris Williamson was suspended in February after saying Labour had “given too much ground” over the issue. However, he was allowed back in on Wednesday after an investigation by the party’s National Executive Committee. Now, a Labour source says issues raised by an MP on the investigation panel needed to be examined. “Subsequently, the whip is not restored as the decision is still pending,” the source said.” – BBC

Civil servants “worried that Corbyn is too frail” to be PM

“Senior civil servants have become increasingly concerned about Jeremy Corbyn’s health and warned that he may be forced to stand down as Labour leader because he is not up to the job “physically or mentally”. The future of Mr Corbyn, 70, was openly discussed at an event attended by mandarins this month amid suggestions that he has become “too frail and is losing his memory”. They say they are increasingly worried about the prospect of him becoming prime minister because he is being “propped up” by his advisers and lacks a firm grasp of both foreign affairs and the domestic agenda. One senior civil servant said: “When does someone say [he] is too ill to carry on as leader of the Labour Party let alone prime minister? There must be senior people in the party who know that he is not functioning on all cylinders.”…Concerns are being heightened because of the increasing possibility that Brexit will lead to a general election.” – The Times

  • Bullying, plots and paranoia . . . inside his chaotic bunker – The Times
  • Rebecca Long Bailey seen as heir apparent – The Times
  • Labour finances head into the red as members rush for exit – The Times
  • Labour pains – Leader, The Times

Parking charges to bring a billion pounds a year for local authorities

“Parking charges are set to make councils £1 billion for the first time, analysis has shown amid fears that motorists are being “punished”.  This will mean that the surplus from parking charges across England has doubled in the last decade and increased by 34 per cent in the last four years alone, analysis for the RAC Foundation found. The record estimate for 2019/2020 comes despite fears that the charges have a damaging effect on local businesses and struggling town centres. The figure led to calls for a review of the system to ensure motorists are not being targeted by  by cash-strapped authorities in order to make money. It comes despite previous warnings from the Department for Communities and Local Government that councils should not “use parking as a cash cow”.”- Daily Telegraph

Osborne to stand in Kensington?

“He was so angry about being ejected from the Treasury by Theresa May that he later claimed he would not rest until he saw the Prime Minister “chopped up in bags with my freezer.” Now with Mrs May’s premiership in tatters and having aligned himself with the most likely candidate to succeed her, could George Osborne be warming to the idea of a return to frontline politics? Speculation is swirling around Westminster that the Evening Standard editor is “toying” with the idea of running as an MP again following hisfall from grace in 2016 after six years as Chancellor. The marginal seat of Kensington in West London is being touted as a potential route back into parliament, with rumours abound that David Cameron’s former right hand man is eyeing up a comeback. Labour MP Emma Dent Coad is the current incumbent on a miniscule majority of 20.” – Daily Telegraph

Incidents of illegal “family voting” spotted at 11 polling stations during the Peterborough by-election

“The results of the Peterborough by-elections have been rocked by allegations of illegal “family voting” at 11 polling stations, as the Brexit Party calls for an investigation into the result. The Labour Party’s Lisa Forbes won the by-election by 683 votes ahead of the Brexit Party candidate’s Mike Greene on June 6. But a new report released by election observation group Democracy Volunteers said multiple voters were seen heading into the same polling booth together at 11 of the 23 polling stations it had observed. While the report found polling station staff were quick to act, it will raise more concerns after the Brexit Party alleged illegal activity through postal votes.” – Daily Express

News in brief

  • A roadmap for popular conservatism – Conor Walsh, CapX
  • The liberals are falling into Putin’s trap – Peter Franklin, Unherd
  • Why the EU is doomed – Rebecca Lowe, 1828
  • Are Tories fanatics? The New York Times thinks so – Douglas Murray, The Spectator
  • How the next PM can save Brexit and the Tories – Melanie Phillips, The Conservative Woman